The Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission yesterday approved a final state house plan that counsel will submit to the Colorado Supreme Court on Oct. 15. The Colorado Supreme Court will issue an opinion no later than Nov. 15.
The adopted plan can be viewed at: https://bit.ly/3FGbEZM. Once a final Colorado Senate plan is adopted and conforming changes have been made by staff, full downloads and reports will be available on the commission’s website.
The plan was approved by a vote of 11 in favor and 1 opposed, fulfilling the constitutional requirement that a final map must be approved by a supermajority of eight of the twelve commissioners, including at least two unaffiliated commissioners.
The commission settled on the plan (unofficially titled HA.013) and made minor adjustments to the plan during the meeting, adopting it as HA.015. It will now be titled the Final Approved Plan. The deadline to approve a final plan for the state senate was Oct. 12.
“Coloradans have insisted from the very beginning that we create the best and fairest maps that serve everyone regardless of their political affiliation, who they are, or where they live,” said Chair Carlos Perez. “The House map that we approved last night is the culmination of countless hours of hard work and compromise by the commissioners and nonpartisan staff. I want to especially thank the citizens of Colorado for participating in this independent process. We have arrived at this important point together as true trailblazers and we could not have done it without you.”
As stated in the Colorado Constitution, the new legislative districts must:
- Have equal population, as required by the U.S. Constitution, with a population deviation of no more than 5 percent between the most populous and the least populous district in each chamber;
- Be composed of contiguous geographic areas;
- Comply with the federal “Voting Rights Act of 1965,” as amended;
- Preserve whole communities of interest and whole political subdivisions, such as counties, cities, and towns; however, a division of a county, city, city and county, or town is permitted where a community of interest’s legislative issues are more essential to the fair and effective representation of residents of the district. When the commission divides a county, city, city and county, or town, it shall minimize the number of divisions of that county, city, city and county, or town;
- Be as compact as is reasonably possible; and thereafter, maximize the number of politically competitive districts.
- Districts cannot be drawn for the purpose of: Protecting incumbents in or declared candidates for the Colorado General Assembly or any political party; or denying or abridging the right of any citizen to vote on account of that person’s race or membership in a language minority group, including diluting the impact of that racial or language minority group’s electoral influence.